Management and Treatment
There many treatment options for management of arthritis when combined with scoliosis. The first thing that a sufferer needs to do is to make sure that the diagnosis is correct.
For juvenile rheumatoid arthritis affecting children, the prevention of joint inflammation is very critical to the prevention of the development of scoliosis. The first-line therapy includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. In addition, intra-articular corticosteroid injections are proven to have positive effects on growth parameters without much psychological trauma in young patients. Cognitive-behavioral pain management techniques can also be successful in reducing the pain from arthritis. Finally, physical therapy is also important for pain reduction and keeping muscle function and the integrity of joints.
For degenerative arthritis among adults, there is no specific treatment to repair damaged cartilage in osteoarthritis. Nevertheless, the goal of management is to reduce pain and to improve joint function to prevent the development of scoliosis. Treatment options include conservative measures including rest, exercise, restricted diet for weight loss, physical and occupational therapy, and even mechanical support devices.
For people with degenerative scoliosis, prevention of pain due to arthritis is also very important. Non-operative treatment including exercises, physical therapy, and gentle chiropractic can provide relief. Nevertheless, for people who fail to see improvements with these conservative treatments, surgery may be required. To plan for the surgery, X-rays and MRI will be obtained. The surgical method normally includes the decompression or removal of bone spurs, which compress nerves causing pain. A fusion may also be necessary to stabilize the spine and correct the abnormal curve due to scoliosis.